Former President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., master navigator Sesario Sewralur, Victor Vescovo and the crew of the DSSV Pressure Drop gathered for a reception last Wednesday to celebrate their historic submersible dives into the Palau and Yap trenches. 

The reception was hosted by Micronesian Voyaging Society and Palau International Coral Reef Center.  It was attended by President Surangel Whipps, Jr., Reklai and members of the Rubekul Belau, governors, Senators, Delegates and state legislators.

The expedition team had just returned from their ten-day voyage, which saw the divers descend over 26,000 feet in DSSV Pressure Drop’s submersible Limiting Factor, making them the first human beings to reach the bottoms of the Palau and Yap trenches.

The Rubekul Belau honored Vescovo with the traditional title “Madradilochel” in recognition of his contribution to Palau’s ocean exploration. The title roughly translates to ‘Messenger of the Deep’.

“[Victor Vescovo is] someone who symbolizes our passion for the ocean, symbolizes the innovation to construct, build things, to get the warrior spirit of exploration and discovery” said former President Remengesau, Jr.

Dr. Nicole Yamase and Dr. Dawn Wright, the first Micronesian and first African American to descend the Challenger Deep, also gave short remarks during the reception.

“I that hope our youth will see that these individuals are proof that there is nothing too big for us to accomplish” said Dr. Yamase. 

DSSV Pressure Drop and the expedition team have generously agreed to share their footage and scientific data from the dives with Palau International Coral Reef Center.

“We really welcome this opportunity and the team’s willingness to share all their information to increase our knowledge of Palau’s deep ocean” said Dr. Golbuu, the Center’s CEO.

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